Fetal development in pregnancy week 17:
About the size of an avocado now, your baby weighs about 6 ounces and is about 5 inches long. Over the next few weeks your baby is about to make a huge jump in size, nearly doubling their weight and getting much longer as well. This will help them to be more proportionate in size, letting the body catch up with the head.
Now the eyes are in the final position and the ears are just about done moving as well. Permanent teeth buds are forming behind the baby teeth buds that are already in place. The baby’s heartbeat can be clearly heard in the doctor’s office with special equipment.
Baby’s bones are becoming harder and a special substance, called Myelin, slowly forms a protective barrier for the spinal cord. Vernix, the protective sealant for baby’s skin is starting to form and cover the skin now, too.
As your uterus begins to grow and make room for the baby you may begin to experience round ligament pain now. This is normal and should subside with rest. Round ligament pain is felt on the sides of your abdomen. If the pain is severe or does not subside with rest you should talk with your health practioner.
Most women start steadily gaining weight if they haven’t already by 17 weeks pregnant. You may welcome the first fluttering of your baby’s kicks and consider that just compensation for the few pounds you will add in the upcoming weeks.
Some women start experiencing more vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Provided vaginal discharge is odorless and clear or milky, you are probably perfect fine. Most women produce more vaginal fluid as a result of increasing estrogen production in the body accompanied with greater blood flow in the genital region.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy your discharge will increase even more. Some women have a hard time distinguishing normal vaginal fluids from amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is usually clear and much more abundant however than vaginal discharge. If for example you are soaking a pad or more in a few hours you may be leaking amniotic fluid and not having excessive vaginal discharge. This could be a sign that you are in pre-term labor, and you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
If you do have excessive vaginal discharge a simple panty liner should solve the problem. You should never wear tampons or douche during pregnancy as this could introduce bacteria or air into the vagina. If vaginal discharge comes with itching, burning or an unpleasant odor you might have an infection such as a yeast infection that you’ll need to be treated for. Be sure you check in with your healthcare provider for recommendations on the best treatment choices. Most infections can be easily cleared in a week or so with proper treatments.
If up until this point of time you have experienced a stressful environment you should consider taking steps to reduce your level of stress and enjoy your pregnancy. Stress can have a negative impact on babies in utero and your pregnancy. Some studies suggest that too much stress can contribute to pre-term labor or higher levels of stress hormones in the body which can affect baby negatively. While you can’t avoid all stressors, consider taking small steps to help you cope better, such as exercising when you can and getting enough sleep at night. Enlist your partner’s help in reducing your stress level. Your body and your baby will thank you for your efforts!
Do you know if there are any expectant dad classes in your area? You might try calling the hospital, birth center or local childbirth educators to find out what is offered in your location.
Want to know what many women find most comfortable to wear during their pregnancy? Why, maternity tees of course! Tops and Tees from Destination Maternity, provide all the comfort of ordinary tees with just a little extra room for expansion… something you will need during the next 9 months! Many maternity tees are specially designed with expectant mothers in mind. They may have cute logos that tell onlookers whether you are having a boy or girl (and even twins in some cases!) or other classy pictures. The majority of maternity tees come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. You can mix and match plain ones with more dramatic, colorful concoctions.
If you are considering wardrobe essentials during your pregnancy, don’t forget to add tops and tees to your list of must haves! Once you have one you’ll find you can’t live without it!
Pregnancy Health Tips
Some women will have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for the first time during their pregnancy. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition characterized by swelling, inflammation, pain and numbness in the fingers or wrist. Pain and numbness in the fingers associated with this syndrome are actually common during pregnancy, in part due to the swelling and fluid tension that occurs. Most women will start to notice symptoms during the second trimester, when fluid retention becomes more severe.
The good news is that symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually abate a few short weeks after delivery. Many women experience pain and discomfort during the evening hours. Others notice it when working at a computer. Some things you can do to relieve the symptoms include:
- Use an ergonomic keyboard.
- Use a wrist guard to stabilize your wrists.
- Take frequent breaks in order to stretch your hands.
- Consider some Tylenol if your physician recommends it.
If the pain and numbness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome become severe to the point where they disrupt your sleep or work, your healthcare provider may take an extra step and require you to wear a splint or hand brace when working. This often alleviates many of these symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Physical therapy might also help during pregnancy.
Make sure you’re getting about 120 grams of protein a day for twins, more for higher order multiples. It’s not as hard as it might seem. A quick peanut butter sandwich, or an egg can help boost those numbers up there. Some women find that protein powders added to other meals is easier for them.